Category: Travel with Pets

It’s International Potcake Day

What’s a potcake, you ask? And why does it have its own day?

Meet Kismet, a Bahamian potcake currently being fostered by the North Abaco Potcake Rescue. And yes, all potcake pups really are this adorable!

A potcake is a mixed-breed dog, indigenous to the Bahamas or the Turks & Caicos islands. Nobody knows for sure where the name originated, but many Bahamians believe it came from the thick, leftover mixture that remained on the bottom of a pot of rice after multiple reheatings. This “potcake,” as it was known, was often fed to stray mutts.

Reader Q&A: Pet Import Permit

I often receive queries from blog followers about various topics related to visiting Abaco. To assist other readers who might have the same questions, I’m launching a regular Reader Q&A feature. Today’s Q&A has to do with importing pets to the Bahamas.

Question: Do you have to get a new pet import permit for Wrigley every time you bring him into the Bahamas?

Anyone Know What This Is?

IMG_1555 22Walking with Wrigley one morning at Gillam Bay, I spotted what looked like a fig. Having never seen a fresh fig anywhere in Abaco — let alone on the beach — I took a closer look. Upon inspection, I realized that though the item resembles a fig, it’s in fact very hard, as if it’s made of wood. It’s about 2″ long.

Knowing that “sea beans” are often found on the shores of the cay, I Googled them. And while I learned a lot – did you know there’s an annual International Sea-Bean Symposium focusing on sea beans, drift seeds and other flotsam?! — I couldn’t find any sea beans or drift seeds that looked like this.

Any suggestions as to what this might be?

A Force For Good

My husband Tom often says that dogs are a force for good in the world and the more time I spend with Wrigley, the more I’m convinced he’s right. In that spirit, I’m reposting this video in hopes of bringing a bit of levity and light to what, for many, have been dark days.

“One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they evoke in us. The disappointments of life, the injustices, the battering events that are beyond our control, and the betrayals we endure, from those we befriended and loved, can make us cynical and turn our hearts into flint – on which only the matches of anger and bitterness can be struck into flame. By their delight in being with us, the reliable sunniness of their disposition, the joy they bring to playtime, the curiosity with which they embrace each new experience, dogs can melt cynicism,and sweeten the bitter heart.” 

— Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

Vacation Photos by Flytographer

A friend and fellow writer Sonja Lishchynski recently posted some stunning vacation photos on her blog Montecristo Travels.

Rather than relying on selfies, or hoping to find a friendly stranger to snap holiday pictures on their recent trip to Croatia, Sonja’s family took advantage of a new service, Flytographer.

croatia, montecristo travels, bozo radic, flytographer

Montecristo with Flytographer, Božo Radić

Flytographer connects travelers with local photographers at holiday destinations on six different continents. Once you book a session through their website, a Flytographer coordinator will work with you prior to your trip to make and confirm arrangements for your shoot.

Though “Flytographers” generally capture vacation memories (including surprise proposals) in a candid, documentary style, they’re happy to arrange more formal, posed portraits.

Five days after your shoot, you’ll receive a link to an online gallery of high-resolution photo memories.

If you think about it, vacation is the perfect time for family photos. You’re happy and relaxed as you explore your surroundings and you’re all together.

The problem, of course, is that it’s hard to get your whole group in the picture because someone’s always behind the camera. With Flytographer, everyone gets to be in the shot.

After reading Sonja’s blog post, I looked back at our own holiday photos. I realized that we have dozens of photos of Tom with Wrigley or me with Wrigley, but only one shot of the three of us, courtesy of our friend, Denise McCauley, on Green Turtle Cay (thanks, Denise!)

bahamas, abaco, green turtle cay, vacation photography

Our one and only family vacation photo

To date, there’s just one Flytographer in the Bahamas, but she’s in Nassau. Hopefully over time photographers from Abaco and the other out islands will sign on with the service, because I can’t imagine anywhere better to shoot stunning family photos.

Happy National Dog Day!

Ok, so technically, National Dog Day was yesterday. But it’s always the right time to celebrate our furry friends. I’ve posted this before, but it’s my absolute favourite video of our dog, Wrigley, enjoying the beach at Gillam Bay on Green Turtle Cay.

Wrigley was found wandering alone in Pasadena’s Memorial Park in early April 2010. He had no ID or collar. On his back was a quarter-sized scar of unknown origin. He was about five months old. Three weeks later, Tom and I adopted him from the Pasadena SPCA/Humane Society.

Wrigley, on the day we brought him home from the Pasadena SPCA/Humane Society

Wrigley on his first day with us – April 22, 2010

Truthfully, we hadn’t planned to adopt a pet. I had some old, worn towels kicking around and I thought the Humane Society could use them.

Tom begged me not to make him come along. “I can’t look at all those faces,” he said. “We’ll end up bringing home a dog.”

“Don’t be silly,” I told him. “We won’t.”

Never have I been more glad to be wrong. Over the past five years, this 14-pound bundle of mischief and mirth has brought immeasurable happiness into our lives. He’s smart, funny and terrific company for me while Tom’s on the road. And he’s a rock star traveler, always eager to hop into his carrier and tag along on an adventure.bahamas, abaco, green turtle cay, dog, beach, travel with pet

Here in Pasadena, we’re fortunate to have a terrific Animal Control service, a sparkling new SPCA/Humane Society shelter and no shortage of staff or volunteers to care for stray or homeless animals.

Dogs in Abaco aren’t nearly as lucky. Many live in the bush where they’re forced to forage for food scraps and a few drops of water. Even some who aren’t technically homeless spend their days neglected, hungry and chained up in the heat or the rain. And I don’t think I’ve ever made the drive from Treasure Cay to Marsh Harbour and back without spotting at least one severely malnourished or injured (or worse) dog alongside the road.

Fortunately, an amazing group of angels is working tirelessly to rescue, feed and care for Abaco’s potcakes and potcats and reduce the stray population through spay and neuter clinics. They include:

To all the above groups and individuals — and to everyone who has adopted a rescue or contributed time or resources toward improving the lives of helpless animals — thank you from Wrigley, Tom and me.

bahamas, abaco, green turtle cay, wrigley, dog, travel, tom walters

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